When TransPerfect announced its merger with Vasont Systems in December, 2013, some in the technical communications and content production communities wondered about the reasoning behind a merger with a second Component Content Management System (CCMS) vendor. With both Astoria Software and Vasont now part of its Global Group, co-CEO Phil Shawe says TransPerfect is better positioned to provide a “one stop solution” to its large global customers.
“We’ve known about Vasont for 18 years and have always seen them in a positive light,” Shawe commented in a recent interview with TechWhirl. “We help them operate globally, and the value of Vasont is their XML publishing technology and expertise. Their sweet spot is going to be different than Astoria’s.” In fact, the TransPerfect website positions the two members of its Global Group differently—Astoria Software is “The on-demand solution leader for enterprise content management,” while Vasont Systems “provides component content management software and XML data services to Fortune 1,000 companies and global organizations from a variety of industries.”
Merger discussions began a little over a year ago, and Shawe described Vasont Systems as an ideal merger candidate. “What we look for are entrepreneur executives. People like Richard Schiding know how to run a business from scratch, and they’re customer driven.” Schiding, President and CEO of Vasont at the time of the merger, continues as President of the Vasont Systems division of TransPerfect.
Both Shawe and co-CEO Liz Elting anticipate a complementary approach in providing global content creation and management with Vasont and Astoria. In the merger announcement, Elting noted ““Their software fits nicely with our GlobalLink technology suite, and the integrated solution we’re now able to offer is something that will benefit our clients.” Shawe elaborated that over time he expects that both divisions can play to their strengths. “Astoria doesn’t have the team to make the leap to XML publishing, and Vasont team can look at opportunities for customers that aren’t all the way there yet.”
As with other mergers, including more than 20 translation services companies, TransPerfect plans to continue having Vasont’s experienced leadership and technology team provide the customer focus and service they always have. “Vasont continues to operate as a ‘standalone’ company. Where we come in is in putting our development resources to work, taking knowledge and feedback from customers, and using it to help drive more robust solutions. We’ve developed our translation workflow for large global customers in the same way,”
When asked about competition between Vasont Systems and Astoria Software, Shawe responded that the objective is “Friendly competition, but ultimately the sales force will guide customers to the core competencies they need. There’s some overlap, so it’s conceivable that they’re both in the running for the same opportunity, but not likely.” Shawe said that the focus for TransPerfect and the two divisions will be around the best ways to scale and manage their growth.
“The success of any merger, after vetting and the due diligence that has to happen, comes from the people,” Shawe said. “We’re extremely excited to have this kind of talent onboard. I’d have to do recruiting for a long time to be able to offer our customers what Vasont brings to the table.”